Monday, August 08, 2005

What's one more post about grocery shopping between friends?

As I've mentioned before, I have created pre-printed shopping lists that show all the items that I regularly buy. The items on the list are sorted so that they appear in the same order as the aisles in my local supermarket. This allows me to go through the store (North to South) and pick up every item I've check-marked that week. It removes the need to scan all the way through the list each time I go into an aisle. It's what we in the software business refer to a a one-pass algorithm (please, refrain from spontanous applause until the end of the post).

This system works pretty well. Really, there's not much that can screw it up. Not much at all. I mean, a supermarket would have to do something totally absurd to mess this up. They'd have to... I don't know...maybe MOVE EVERYTHING AROUND FOR NO APPARENT REASON.

Yeah, that'd do it.

And that's what Safeway, my nearby supermarket, has done. I wandered through their aisles this weekend, befuddled and distraught.

All the items that require refrigeration are still in the same place. Apparently whatever motivated the Safeway brass to screw with me, wasn't worth unplugging freezers. Everything else, however, was fair game. If they had undertaken this effort to more logically store their wares, then I'd understand. Maybe they could have alphabetized their products, or even sorted them by shape. That would make sense to me. Tortillas would be next to paper plates and cucumbers would sit alongside dildos. So easy!

Of course that's not what Safeway did. They utilized an organizational system known as R-A-N-D-O-M.

You know how the wine used to be in the same aisle as the liquor? Now the wine is in the bread aisle. What's the theme here? Biblical foods, maybe?

Want to know where the cookies and crackers are? They're in the meat aisle. This one makes sense IF YOU ARE A CRAZY PERSON WHO EATS COOKIE BURGERS.

Dog food? Next to the greeting cards. "Hey, baby, happy anniversary! Here's a card and a chew toy."

I was confused for a split second about why the diapers and baby food were in the same aisle as the coffee, but then I remembered what it was like being the parent of a newborn. It's clearly the "AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!" aisle. I'm down with that.

So, now I get to make a new list. Booooo. Inefficiency is evil.


ps. I miss Webvan.

13 comments:

Colby said...

Apparently your local supermarket has adopted the Wal-Mart Labyrinth Coordination System, in which everything is at precisely the worst possible area in order to make you march through a bunch of crap you didn't know you wanted to buy.

By the way, I once considered patenting a system where you could pretty much Google a store's inventory right there in the aisle, finding where the product was located and if it was in stock, but then I discovered my idea's fatal flaw: It was too darn efficient.

Thanks for nothing, capitalism.

Mike said...

Your google idea isn't bad. If you could then click on the item to purchase it, and then have it delivered to your door a couple hours later, you'd have a bonafide business. Oh. Wait....

I MISS WEBVAN!!

dulciana said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one who makes grocery lists arranged by aisle! (See, hubby, I'm not crazy!)

Mike said...

Dulciana! You are not crazy! You are wise and efficient and competent. If my years as a geek have taught me one thing it's that efficient chicks are hot. (no offense)

Leesa said...

You are too funny, a pre-printed grocery list?? You wouldn't like shopping with me, I backtrack alot.
Oh and hey..I eat cookie burgers!!

Leesa said...

Oh and I think your confusion must have been pretty funny to watch :)

Mike said...

Leesa, not only was my confusion probably funny to watch, my irritation was more amusing, and the punchline to the affair was that I kept stopping to take notes for this blog ("Cookies in meat aisle. Dog food greeting cards").

I'm sure I looked like a crazy person. Not "cookie burger" crazy, but crazy.

Leesa said...

What is a cookie-burger anyway? If it's two cookies with ice-cream in the middle, then yes..I'm crazy.

Mike said...

No, that's not a cookie burger. That's an It's It. And, had Safeway put the cookies in the ice cream aisle, then it wouldn't have made it into this blog entry. Instead they put the cookies in the MEAT aisle.

Leesa said...

That is weird. Cookies & Meat. Hmmmm.

Mike said...

I feel validated now. Thank you.

Kat said...

Safeway sells dildos? I'm missing out...

Mike said...

They're usually in the lube aisle, across from the cock rings. It's time you moved out of the frozen north and into S.F..